List of nuclear weapons tests of the United Kingdom

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The list of nuclear weapons tests summarizes all the nuclear tests performed by the United Kingdom from 3 October 1952 to 26 November 1991 at Montebello Islands, Emu Field and Maralinga Field in Australia, on Kiritimati and Malden Islands in Kiribati, and at the Nevada Test Site in the United States. The total of 88 tests include 64 tests carried out in the atmosphere.[1]

List[edit]

United Kingdom's nuclear testing series summary
Series or years Years covered Tests [Summ 1] Devices fired Devices with unknown yield Peaceful use tests Non-PTBT tests [Summ 2] Yield range (kilotons) [Summ 3] Total yield (kilotons) [Summ 4] Notes
Hurricane 1952 1 1 1 25 25 First British nuclear test.
Totem 1953 2 2 2 8 to 10 18
Mosaic 1956 2 2 2 15 to 60 75
Buffalo 1956 4 4 4 2 to 15 30
Antler 1957 3 3 3 1 to 27 34
Grapple 1957–1958 9 9 9 24 to 3,000 7,869 First scalable thermonuclear test.
Vixen 1959–1963 43 43 31 43 0 0 Classic safety testing of weapons against fire and shock
NTS series 1961–91 24 24 0 to 140 1,232
Totals 1952-Oct-03 to 1991-Nov-26 88 88 31 64 0 to 3,000 9,282 Total country yield is 1.7% of all nuclear testing.
  1. ^ Includes all tests with potential for nuclear fission or fusion explosion, including combat use, singleton tests, salvo tests, zero yield fails, safety experiments, and bombs incapacitated by accidents but still intended to be fired. It does not include hydronuclear and subcritical tests, and misfires of a device which was subsequently fired successfully.
  2. ^ Number of tests which would have been in violation of the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, such as atmospheric, space or underwater tests. Some "peaceful use" cratering tests which should have been violations were protested, and later quietly dropped.
  3. ^ "Small" refers to a value greater than zero but less than 0.5 kt.
  4. ^ Some yields are described like "< 20 kt"; such are scored at one half of the numeric amount, i.e., yield of 10k in this example. "Unknown yield" adds nothing to the total.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Nuclear Testing Talley". Arms Control Association. Retrieved August 17, 2014. Discrepancy in the total count of 45 presented here and 88 tests in the table is explained by the inclusion of 43 Vixen safety tests.

Sources[edit]

  • Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000). "CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3)". SMDC Monitoring Research. 
  • Andryushi, LA; Voloshin, N.P.; Ilkaev, R.I.; Matushchenko, A.M.; Ryabev, L.D.; Strukov, V.G.; Chernyshev, A.K.; Yudin, Yu.A. Mikhailov, V.N., ed. "Catalog of Worldwide Nuclear Testing". Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  • Wm Robert Johnston, PhD. "Johnston Archive of Nuclear Weapons". Retrieved 2013-12-31.